June 9, 2015
This first week of summer break finds me working at summer school (a 3-week program my school offers). It is so weird to leave two hours later than usual to arrive in plenty of time for a 9AM start. I have many plans for a break that is both busy and relaxing and these three weeks of half days are easing me in. This morning I even had time to file 11 months worth of bills and dig up most of the documents I need to file my taxes (this year I have to file in 3 countries…).
My summer school choice was Books! Books! Books! I start with 75 minutes with 13 incoming third to fifth graders. We are exploring a genre, form, or author each day. So far, we have looked at diaries and fantasy. After about 15 minutes together we spend time working. The students can read, write, or make book trailers. So far, there has been a little of everything going on. Several groups are cocreating and having fun reading and writing together, while others are solo artists. In the end, we come back together to share.
After snack and break, I then have a younger group- those entering first and second grade. I am keeping the same general framework, but reading aloud to them for longer. They so far are mostly writing (with plenty of artwork too). We have not really had a sharing time, but that will start tomorrow. With both groups, I am there to read aloud if they want me to, help them revise and edit, find ways to help them share writing, recommend books, and whatever else they want.
It has been a good transition to break. I still have to plan for them a bit, but it is definitely a labor of love- I am getting to help them fall more in love with words- what could be more fun!? As we get to know each other as readers and writers I expect that they will take on more of the planning as well. As a bonus, I have two boys who just left my class which is proving really nice!
Summer school is over at 12 and this week I am hurrying home to relax (okay, I may be reading professional books sometimes, but it is my kind of relaxing). I will spend a few afternoons next week sorting through some piles of papers in my classroom that need to be filed or thrown away, but this week I just needed to not. I have 54 days of break, so all will be well, even with 15 of them being “working” days.
In my head, I am also planning for the 3 weeks I will travel to the US. My younger son just moved 1500 miles from his university into his first after university apartment yesterday and starts his job in 6 days. I look forward to seeing how this transition goes for him. My older son is feeling like he is in a bit of a state of flux right now- not really sure where he is headed in the short term. My mom is recovering from hip and heart surgery. I look forward to seeing all of them and more in my whirlwind trip back- and hope that I do not lose too much time because of jet lag. It is amazing how quickly just under 8 weeks can go, but today I am just enjoying the break.